Thank you, youth!
The youth lead us in a great service of worship on Sunday. Through the music, the Bible readings and their own words, they held up a radical kind of faith for all of us to see. They spoke from their own experience at school, home, and in the church. They spoke from what they have seen in the various groups and activities in which they participate. They clearly made the case that all people should be accepted into God’s church. All are welcomed and all are loved.
Who are we to tell someone that they are incompatible with God’s plan? They told us in their own words that we simply can’t deny other people the chance to grow in God’s love. They challenged us (as well as themselves) to have a faith that doesn’t become complacent or overly comfortable. Rather, our faith is to take its que from the radical acceptance and love that Jesus showed towards others. This means we are to love the person with disabilities, persons from another race, those with different immigration status or a different sexual orientation. Jesus calls us to choose to love as he himself loved.
We have heard this before. But the words take on a greater significance when we consider who it is that is speaking the words. These are the young people that have grown up in the church who are giving witness to the gospel. And also because here, in these days, the United Methodist Church as a denomination is arguing over who is to be loved and who is to be judged as a sinner. Those who spoke on Sunday were clear where Jesus stood.